When we share spaces, everyone is responsible for helping maintain those spaces, right?
We clean and cook and decorate our spaces together to create an environment we can all be happy with.
What happens when someone decides that you should be doing those things in a space you don’t share?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Tadpole_Hivemind when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for refusing to do housework while my boyfriend goes to work, even though I don’t have a job.”
Good news first.
“I (19f) have been dating my boyfriend (25m) for five months now, and he’s amazing.”
“However, one disagreement we often have is over housework.”
Then the problem.
“My boyfriend thinks that I should do housework, seeing as he works 48 hours a week, and I’m not in employment.”
“I have always refused.”
“We don’t live together.”
“We live in separate houses and pay separate rent.”
“I afford rent through my university student loan, as well as tutoring and babysitting part-time. So in my opinion, I have no reason to clean his house when I have my own that I pay for.”
“My boyfriend thinks it’s unfair that I don’t really work, yet have enough money to rent. In his eyes, I should do household chores for him because he is the ‘breadwinner'”.
“The thing is, I don’t see him as the breadwinner. He doesn’t pay for my rent. I do. We aren’t married, and I’m still in education.”
“I can’t tell if I’m being unreasonable.”
“I cook for him and occasionally help with chores, but I refuse to be a full-time maid for him. Then again, he works so hard, whereas I only work a few hours a week.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some were confused.
“Wait, so you don’t live together, you pay your own separate rent for your own separate home that you clean/maintain yourself, and he thinks you owe it to him to come to do the same for his home that you don’t live in?”
“This guy is trying to take advantage of you.” ~ morgaine125
“Second all of this – NTA.”
“Additional point -“
“Student loans mean you are still attending university, right?”
“So like… school IS YOUR JOB right now, and all your time investment (classes, homework, transit, study groups, etc) should be a factor when dividing up chores with your roommates.”
“It’s not about who earns how much. It’s about available time capacity when coordinating with a partner.”
“And once again, because I cannot stress it enough… you don’t live there.”
“You have your own place that you are responsible for, he has his own place that he is responsible for.”
“I’d have dumped him over this.” ~ Unusual-Setting-5067
“Plus OP babysits/tutors part-time for their own money and pays their own rent… what bread is bf supposedly winning here?” ~ whererugoingwthis
“HUGE red flags OP!”
“This is NOT a normal request at all!”
“5 months into a relationship, and he’s already talking about being a breadwinner and trying to distribute household chores and rent when not even living together?”
“That is batsh*t insane. Block his a*s”
“NTA.” ~ BoyoDee
The future looks bleak.
“I heard an actual record screech in my head when you said you don’t live together.”
“This is wild. Just wow.”
“Your boyfriend is wildly out of line, and frankly, I would be super worried about what the division of labor would look like if you ever moved in together.”
“He is not supporting you in any way, and somehow you are his cook and maid. I would hate to see what he expects if you actually live there.”
“This is not a guy who is going to pull his own weight in the mental and physical household labor department even if you were living together and both contributing.”
“Take a hard look at how he treats you in other ways and how he treats women in general.”
“Maybe read him some AITA posts about domestic labor and see where he stands.”
“And please come here if you are ever doubting yourself again because anyone dating this guy is gonna need some reality checks.”
“NTA. Seriously- you can do better than him.” ~ Music_withRocks_In
“I got whiplash from this post.”
“NTA. And honestly, head for the hills.”
“It’s been five months, and he is showing you exactly who he is. He wants a bang maid, not a partner.” ~ TheDrunkScientist
A deeper issue.
“NTA- This is WILD.”
“Even if he paid for most of your other joint costs or you were more often at his place that just makes you his GF, not his maid.”
“He clearly doesn’t have a grip on reality, and I think you need to ask yourself if he ever will. Being a student IS your full-time job right now, what the actual.”
“Look, there is also something insidious here I can’t quite put my finger on.”
“He sees a difference in your financial situation as something that has to be made ‘your fault.’”
“Instead of being happy for you, you have spare time to do your studies. He needs to turn this into a way to have control over you.”
“A way to dismantle prioritizing your own needs, wants, and desires in life over his.”
“Just know OP, Self-esteem rarely survives this type of power dynamic.”
“He will chip away at anything about you he doesn’t like or makes him feel ‘less than.’ He has overtly admitted to wanting a maid rather than a mature and collaborative relationship.”
“Hear him.” ~ rosetravel
“He targeted you because you wouldn’t think of it like that.”
“This guy is a creep, ‘traditionalists’ often go after women under 20 because they perceive them as easier to manipulate.”
“Run.” ~ reverendsmooth
“He’s grooming you to be his maid/servant.”
“One of the big red flags to spot in an age gap relationship is if they try to convince you that unreasonable behavior and expectations are normal.”
“He’s counting on being able to manipulate you due to your naive lack of experience because you are so young, and you likely haven’t had many relationships to compare it to.” ~ sapphire8
“While a 6-year age gap in and of itself is not a big deal, the specific age gap you guys have is often problematic.”
“Because a 25-year-old wanting to date a literal teenager usually signals that the 25-year-old is both immature AND controlling.”
“Case in point, your boyfriend is being immature AND controlling here.”
“He’s also being ridiculous. You’re a student; you’re not his bang maid.”
“Do you really want to waste your early 20s with this guy, ’cause he sounds lame?”
“Also, if you do make the mistake of moving in with this guy, mark my words, he will become even more controlling.” ~ neoncactusfields
What a twist!
“I was voting YTA until I read you two don’t even live together.”
“So you don’t live there, and he wants you to come over every day and clean his house while he’s at work?”
“Sounds like the type of guy who wants wifey material without the commitment. NTA, and you’re too young and have your whole life ahead of you to put up with this bullsh*t.” ~ industrial_hamster
“At first, I thought YTA because if he worked 48 hours and paid the bills, what did you do during that time?”
“But .. you don’t live together, AND you pay for your own stuff?”
“NTA at all then.” ~ alecsharks
“I think people go overboard for telling you to dump him, sometimes a talk with facts is actually enough to fix expectations.”
“With your title I was ready for a yta judgment, but here;s the thing.”
“You own your own place and pay your own bill. You don’t owe him sh*t.”
“No food, no cleaning etc. Everything you do is from a place of kindness.”
“Unless he’s spending a lot of his 48hrs+ job money on you and your stuff, which I assume he doesn’t then he shouldn’t expect you to do anything in return.”
“Even when I was working full time, and wife was in a slump, I was still doing chores. In a couple LIVING TOGETHER, its 50%.”
“You guys are NOT LIVING TOGETHER, so its 0%.”
“Hold your ground and have a talk. You are in the right.” ~ Darkchick3n
OP returned with some closure.
“Yeah, I broke up with him a few hours ago. I don’t think we can work our different viewpoints out”
The shared work of a communal space is part of the agreement that makes a communal space possible.
That agreement has no bearing on a personal space – like your apartment.